Four Decades of Edwin Wilwayco: Master Abstractionist
Written by: The Philippine Tatler
Date: April 26, 2017
The Fatima University Gallery Foundation, Inc. publishes and a coffee table book entitled “Edwin Wilwayco” -- a look back at the master abstractionist's legacy
"Painting is a discovery. Every time you make a mark on canvas, all sorts of possibilities pen up and all sorts of problems to which you have to find the solutions. When you take a brush to canvas, you never know exactly the result paint is going to make. The tension of always trying to push yourself over the edge, of testing the limits of your imagination, in the hope of creating impressions distinctly your own and quite beyond anything you ever expected when you started out. Therein lies the continual challenge and beauty of the act of painting for me." - Edwin Wilwayco
The publication of a coffee table book, itself a museum without walls, devoted to the lifetime body of works by a single artist, is always a cause for celebration. For artist Edwin Wilwayco, it is an affirmation of all that he has worked for; for the reading public, it is an opportunity to view and appreciate the panoramic achievements of one of the country’s leading abstractionists.
The Fatima University Gallery Foundation, Inc. published and launched the book simply entitled, “Edwin Wilwayco”. Authored by award-winning critic Cid Reyes, the book brings to the fore the struggles of a young artist who decided early on, that abstraction was the idiom in which he could best express himself, despite his graphic facility and fluency in representational art.
Absorbing the inevitable influences of his college mentors, and enlightened by the entire history of abstraction, from Wassily Kandinsky down to Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, Wilwayco synthesized, distilled and drew, from his own experimental alchemy, his own trademark characteristics of brushstrokes, gestural marks, formal motifs, and vibrant chromatics.
The book also traces the progression of his many thematic series, each one a rich exploration of expressions reflective of local culture, nationalism, spirituality, the varying seasons, music, geometric symbolisms, and the mysterious gifts of nature.
These are all manifested in harmonious but inexplicable array of designs and patterns. Down to his years of maturity and seniority, Wilwayco has never wavered from the restless enrichment of his vocabulary of form and color.
Lavishly illustrated by Aman Santos, with numerous photographs by Ferdinand Rodriguez and Lovella Uy of Photoholict, culled from nearly a thousand works in different media, the book is distinct evidence of Wilwayco’s prolific production, proving that inspiration comes not from thin air, but from passion, determination, and commitment to the vocation which Edwin Wilwayco has dedicated his life to: painting.
The book is sold at Leon Gallery. A special exhibition of carefully selected works from each of Wilwayco’s series will coincide with the book launch. It will be held at Leon Gallery, G/F Eurovilla 1, Legazpi corner Rufino Sts., Legazpi Village, Makati City, from April 24 - 29, 2017.